While we still might be making 77 cents to the man's dollar, there's no denying that the United States is a world leader in women's rights. But in Saudi Arabia, not only do women not share the same rights as men — but women who attempt to fight for their rights are shut down. Two Saudi women's rights activists have been sentenced to 10 months in prison as well as a two-year travel ban for "corrupting" a Canadian woman — Natalie Morin, married to a Saudi man — and allegedly trying to smuggle her out of Saudi Arabia.
These charges seem weak, due to the fact that Morin has said her husband is abusive and that she's been trying to escape Saudi Arabia for the past eight years. The activists, Wajeha al Huwaidar and Fawzia Al-'Ayouni, were arrested upon their arrival (with groceries) at Morin's home — she had been locked inside by her husband for a week, with not enough food or water. The two were not found guilty of kidnapping the woman, but of "Takhbib", encouraging a woman to act out against her husband. In reality, this was a prime opportunity for the government to shut down these vocal activists.
This outrageous treatment, sadly, is nothing new for Saudi women. The Saudi government is known for their harsh legalities when it comes to women's rights: Females can be arrested for doing something as mundane as driving a car, and can't undergo surgery without a man's permission. Al Huwaidar and Al-'Ayouni have a month to appeal their case, and in the meantime, you can help to overturn this injustice: Contact the Saudi ambassador to protest, or the White House to encourage them to take action.
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I'm an Associate Editor at the Business of Fashion, where I edit and write stories about the fashion and beauty industries. Previously, I was the brand editor at Adweek, where I was the lead editor for Adweek's brand and retail coverage. Before my switch to business journalism, I was a writer/reporter at PEOPLE.com, where I wrote news posts, galleries and articles for PEOPLE magazine's website. My work has been published on TheAtlantic.com, ELLE.com, MarieClaire.com, PEOPLE.com, GoodHousekeeping.com and in Every Day with Rachael Ray. It has been syndicated by Cosmopolitan.com, TIME.com, TravelandLeisure.com and GoodHousekeeping.com, among other publications. Previously, I've worked at VOGUE.com, ELLE.com, and MarieClaire.com.
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